A report by Chain Reaction Research found that 38,000 hectares of deforestation occurred in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea last year, to make way for palm oil plantations. This is the lowest amount seen in 3 years, largely due to restricted travel and economic constriction in the face of COVID-19.
It was found that 58% of the deforestation occurred in palm oil concessions of 10 companies in Indonesia. Most of the companies in this year’s Top 10 list similarly cleared the largest amounts of forests in 2019 and 2018. They are also linked to global brands that have public No Peat, No Deforestation and No Exploitation (NDPE) policies.
The report also warns that 2021 could see an increase in palm oil driven deforestation due to an increase in local demand and palm oil prices.